Mario & Ciarra's Super Techy Tiny House RV - FOR SALE

Ready for a totally teched-out Tiny House RV? Mario Soto finished his DIY Tumbleweed over a year ago, and it has some radical design elements. He incorporated several tricked-out tech features, creating a luxurious and almost futuristic space. Read on for details!

Tiny House RV Tech Features:

- Salt water battery system, made by Aquion energy. With the help of these batteries, Mario's tiny can function off-grid.

- Solar Oven. Mario uses this outdoor solar oven along side his chef-style kitchen. 

- Sliding closet. Mario's closet rolls into his standing shower, when the shower is not in use, creating more space. 

- Atmospheric water generator. This system pulls moisture from the air to create clean water. Mario is still perfecting this system. Currently, it creates about 8 gallons of clean water a day. 

Mario Tiny House

- Velux solar skylight. Mario has a wireless skylight that opens and closes by itself, based on the weather, using solar energy. 

- Wireless Air Conditioning. Mario can control the thermostat in his tiny wirelessly, even when he's outside. 

- Automatic hue lighting. The lights on the exterior and interior automatically turn off when Mario leaves his Tiny House RV and turn on when he approaches. 

- Wireless Schlage lock. Mario's front door lock can be disabled wirelessly in case someone needs to get into his tiny when he's not around. It will also notify him if there is a knock at the door when he is away. 

"For the people who are hesitant about going tiny: you do not know unless you try it. It could make other parts of your life even bigger!" - Mario

After traveling with his tricked-out tiny for one year, Mario and his girlfriend, Ciarra, became engaged. Together they plan to build another Tiny House RV - slightly larger than Mario's original - that will suit both of their needs and personalities.

Mario's Tiny House Kitchen

Mario and Ciarra's future tiny will be 26 feet long, which is six feet longer than Mario's current tiny. It will also be built on gooseneck trailer. They both still want to have the wireless tech features of Mario's original tiny. 

"I'm nervous and excited for the experience." Ciarra says. "The most important thing for me is: I don't need a big space." 

Before building their dream Tiny, Mario and Ciarra must sell Mario's original Tiny House RV. If you're interested, check out this link for the sale listing


Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress. She writes about Tiny Homes and travel on her informative blog: "Tiny House Giant Journey."


Written by Jenna Spesard — September 20, 2016

Filed under: Ciarra   For Sale   Mario   Movement   Road Trip   Super Tech   Techy   Tiny Home   Tiny House   Tiny House RV   Travel  

Tiny House RV Travelers: "Best Little House in Texas"

Meet Cody and Randi, owners and builders of this gorgeous Tiny House RV nicknamed "Best Little House in Texas." With their tiny dwelling in tow, they are in the midst of a six month road trip across the country. So far they've been traveling for three months, hitting 18 states!

Best Little House in Texas

Basing their design off of the Tumbleweed Elm, Cody and Randi built a beautiful custom Tiny House RV with french doors and intricate trim work. They added an extra gable over their front door and sided their tiny abode with painted wood and cedar shingles. 

Best little house in texas

On the interior, Cody and Randi have a full size couch that is swoon-worthy and rare for a tiny house living room. Their loft includes two skylights, which allows natural light to bounce off of their white interior paneling, illuminating their gorgeous living space. 

Best Little House in Texas

Every element and belonging in Cody and Randi's tiny is a representation of their life together. 

Best Little House in Texas

The heart and soul of Cody and Randi's design revolves around their idea of "home." Their exposed wood beams, round window trim and reclaimed floor boards are all native to their home state of Texas. They also allocated space in their design for a record player, collection of books and nicknacks collected from their experiences together.

Watch the following video featuring Cody & Randi, created by Tiny House Expedition

*Follow Cody and Randi on their blog, Facebook and Instagram

*All photos copyright "Best Little House in Texas"


Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress. She writes about Tiny Homes and travel on her informative blog: "Tiny House Giant Journey."


Written by Jenna Spesard — September 07, 2016

Filed under: 2016   best little house in texas   Cody   Custom   Design   Elm   French Doors   Hennigan   Randi   road trip   roadtrip   texas   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house movement   Tumbleweed  

Choosing paint for your Tiny House RV

Paint can be toxic, especially in a tiny space. It is very important to choose your paints carefully, otherwise you could be admitting dangerous chemicals into your Tiny House RV. For this article, I interviewed Matthew Connors: tiny house dweller, dad, off-grid homesteader and house painter!

Matthew Connors

The story of Matthew Connors, non-toxic painter

Matthew Connors owns New Leaf Professional Painting and specializes in non-toxic and earth based paint services. He also lives in a 450 square foot off-grid tiny home with his wife and two kids in New Hampshire. 

New Hampshire Tiny House

Matthew's decision to turn over a new leaf in the painting world was made when his daughter ran to hug him one day after work.


"I urged (my daughter) to not touch me until I showered and changed my clothes. I realized that was unhealthy for her and myself on many levels." - Matthew 


Matthew now only accepts clients who are willing to work with non-toxic paints. He chooses to do this not only for his own health, but also for the health and safety of his family, clients, and for those who come after us. Read on for the full interview. 


New Leaf Painting Tiny House New Hampshire


Why is it important to pay attention to paints?

Matthew: I feel it is important to pay attention to not only paint, but any chemicals and materials. Many modern (I venture to say most) building materials, paints, cleaners etc. contain toxic chemicals. Buildings are closed spaces and we inhale fumes from chemicals as they evaporate, be it paint or household cleaners, or plywood. The smaller the space, the more concentrated the fumes and exposure increases.

The main issue with interior latex paint is not with the paint itself, but with the fumes released by the paint as it is drying and over time. The fumes are made of organic compounds, or VOCs, which are gases like benzene, formaldehyde and toluene. The actual gases depend on the formula of the paint. Generally, the more heavily tinted and glossy the paint, the more VOCs are released.

VOCs, especially formaldehyde, are blamed for causing headaches, nausea, fatigue and irritations of the eyes, nose and throat. The misconception many people have is that once the paint is dried and you can no longer smell it, then the danger is gone, which is false. These chemicals can be released for years, long after the paint is dry, and you will continue to inhale the toxins which have been associated to numerous health issues which include cancer and asthma.

And keep in mind that just because a paint says that it has low or even zero VOC's, that does not mean that it is non-toxic. Not all VOCs are the same. There is a large amount of research and scientific evidence to support the idea that there is a significant distinction, in terms of health impacts, between naturally occurring VOCs such as orange oil, and synthetic VOCs. Even without VOC's many paints still contain harmful biocides and fungicides.


Tiny House New Hampshire
Matthew's 14X16' tiny cabin is painted with non-toxic paints


What should be considered when choosing paint?

Matthew: First and foremost ask yourself: "Why am I painting?" Is it to protect a material such as wood or metal; is it simply to add some color; or is it because we have been told that paint is the best way to finish a house. The products chosen should match the reason for the paint, oil, sealer, etc. Sometimes paint is not necessary at all, or can lead to more problems down the road if not applied correctly.


Tiny House New Hampshire off-grid
Matthew's off-grid homestead


What do you usually suggest for interior paint for tiny spaces? Do you have specific brands or labels?

Matthew: I recommend the same types of paint and finishes for all houses, big or small, with the exception of houses on wheels. For portable houses, non-brittle finishes such as washes and oils hold up better to the flex and movement. For all others, my first choice will always be a naturally derived product. I try to avoid latex paints whenever possible as they are, at their core, plastics derived from petroleum, even though they are generally accepted as non-toxic. I'll reiterate that I do not care what isn't in the paint, but rather what is in it.


I look to naturally derived plant and earth based paints first. They tend to vary with ingredients, but typically contain things like flax(linseed) or other plant oils, casein (a milk product), clay (for beautiful colors), lime, flour. These ingredients are ones that we humans can understand, and can even mix ourselves!
Some brands that I trust are: The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. (they are local to me to boot), Bio-shield, Green Planet Paints, & Unearthed Paints.
* If you would like to book a consultation with Matthew, contact him at New Leaf Painting
* All photos provided by Matthew Connors


Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress. She writes about Tiny Homes and travel on her informative blog: "Tiny House Giant Journey."

Written by Jenna Spesard — August 30, 2016

Filed under: 2016   chemical   chemical sensitive   matthew connors   new hampshire   new leaf painting   non-toxic   paint   paints   stain   tiny home   tiny house   tiny house movement  

8 reasons you should build instead of buy your Tiny House RV

As many of you know, I built my own Tiny House RV and I wouldn't have it any other way! Below I've listed 8 reasons you should BUILD OVER BUY. But don't worry, if you aren't up for the construction challenge, click here to read 8 reasons you should BUY OVER BUILD.

8 reasons to BUILD INSTEAD OF BUY:

1). You have construction experience

No brainer. If you know your way around the tool shed, building your own Tiny House RV should be relatively easy. For an expert builder, we advise that a build will take 400-600 work hours. 

You can also take a workshop to learn the skills to build your own tiny. I took one prior to building my tiny, and now I teach them! 

2). You have a great build location

The ideal build site is covered, with ample storage for materials and access to electricity for power tools. If you have the perfect build location, give yourself a pat on the back! You will be the envy of many tiny enthusiasts. 

3). You have a budget & savings

One of the biggest hurdles for any tiny house enthusiast is creating a realistic budget. How you will pay for the materials, tools, etc? Financing is not usually an option for DIY Tiny House RV builds, so you may need to get creative. For example, you can save money by gathering reclaimed/free items. For a breakdown of my DIY Tiny House RV costs and materials, click here.

If you already have a budget and enough savings to build, what are you waiting for?? Go for it! 

4). You have a support team

I had a bunch of volunteers help on my Tiny House RV. So if you have a support team, for physical labor and mental inspiration, it might be enough to get you through the challenge.

5). You want the knowledge

I love the fact that I built my own Tiny House RV. I know it isn't perfect, but I've also learned to love my tiny's faults. Has it always been your goal to build something yourself? A Tiny House RV is the perfect project for you!

6). You want to save money on labor

Arguably the most important reason to build your own Tiny House RV - to save money! Labor can cost almost (if not more) than materials. If you do the work yourself, you can save BIG on the overall cost.

7). You don't care about being RVIA certified

It is not possible to be RVIA certified as a DIY builder (only a manufacturer, like Tumbleweed, can get this certification). If this certification doesn't matter to you, then perhaps building your tiny is the better choice.

8). You want to fulfill your dream

If it has been your dream to build a Tiny House RV for many years, and you are determined, don't let anything (including the above) stand in your way!


*For the alternative point of view: 8 reasons to BUY instead of BUILD a Tiny House RV

What do you think: Build or Buy? Comment below


Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress. She writes about Tiny Homes and travel on her informative blog: "Tiny House Giant Journey."

Written by Jenna Spesard — August 22, 2016

Filed under: 2016   barn raiser   build   carpenter   community   experience   tiny home   tiny house   tumbleweed  

8 reasons you should buy instead of build your Tiny House RV

Are you confused as to whether you should BUY or BUILD your future Tiny House RV? Don't worry, you're not alone. I host Tumbleweed build workshops, and I see a lot of eager individuals start a construction project and never finish. Depending on your situation, building your own tiny dream house might not be the most economical or practical option.

Below I’ve listed several reasons to BUY INSTEAD OF BUILD. I encourage you to review and decide for yourself. For the alternative point of view, read this article for reasons you should BUILD INSTEAD OF BUY

1). You don’t have enough time

I built my own Tiny House RV without any prior construction experience, and It took me one whole year. For a Tumbleweed design we estimate the following for total work hours based on your experience level:

Example scenario: John is a beginner builder with weekends available for his construction project. He can build year round, without weather delays, because he has a covered build site. If John is able to work eight hours a day on Saturday and Sunday (16 hours a weekend) it will take him 62.5 weekends to complete his build. Most likely John will need 1.5 years to construct his Tiny House RV. 

Inside the Tumbleweed build facility 

If you purchase a fully built Tiny House RV from Tumbleweed, you can have it delivered within a few months. That is a big time difference! So if you don't have enough time to build, consider purchasing a fully built model or half built shell.

2). You don’t have a build site

Where will you build your Tiny House RV? Ideally you will have a large covered location, with ample electricity and storage for your materials. Finding the perfect built site is easier said than done. If you don't have an ideal build location, expect challenges and delays in construction.

Inside the Tumbleweed build facility 

3). You don’t have the tools

Tools are an expensive investment. You can purchase used tools, rent tools or find a tool sharing build site. Be careful not to blow your budget on tools.

4). You want to finance the costs

DIY Tiny House RV build projects are difficult to finance. If you don’t have enough money saved up, you run the risk of going into credit card debt or putting your build on hold. I’ve seen many builds never reach completion due to this problem. So if you want to finance your Tiny House RV, go ahead and buy one - there are more financing options. 

5). You want an RVIA certified Tiny House RV

If you build your own Tiny House RV it will not be RVIA certified. Not having the RVIA certification can limit your financing, insurance, DMV registration and future parking options. More on the RVIA here.

Tumbleweed is one of the few RVIA certified Tiny House RV builders in the country. If you purchase a fully built tiny from Tumbleweed, it will be RVIA certified. 

6). You don't have the passion

I know this sounds silly, but building a Tiny House RV is a huge commitment. I’ve seen projects fail because the individuals became bored or frustrated. Make sure your passion won't fade.

7). You lack the physical ability

Skills can be learned, but physical labor is still physical labor. I've seen a handicapped builder finish a beautiful Tiny House RV, but the strain of construction is not for everyone. Before you decided to build, make sure you are physically capable of completing the project. 

8). You haven’t done your research.

Building a Tiny House RV is not the same as building a regular home. The structure has to be road worthy, vented correctly, capable of withstanding extreme winds and many other unique practices. It’s a specialized type of construction. These skills can be learned, but it takes research. 

Tumbleweed has been building Tiny House RVs for over 15 years. They have a specialized team and a proven road worthy product. If you don't believe you can build a structurally sound Tiny House RV, purchase one instead.


What do you think? Buy or Build? Comment below.

*For the alternative perspective, click here for reasons to BUILD a Tiny House RV instead of BUY. 


Jenna BioJenna Spesard is currently traveling around North America in a DIY Tumbleweed Cypress. She writes about Tiny Homes and travel on her informative blog: "Tiny House Giant Journey."

Written by Jenna Spesard — August 12, 2016

Filed under: 2016   build   diy   purchase   shell   tiny home   Tiny House   Tiny House Company   tiny house rv   Tumbleweed   workshop  

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